Four Steps to Ensure your Business will Capitalize from Local Google Search Exposure
In today’s times, more and more people are relying on the Internet for an answer to whatever their question is. The Internet is more of a household necessity than passing fad. With the proliferation of smart phones, laptops and wireless internet, people can access the internet anywhere. If someone needs information they are more likely to turn to a search on Google than they are a magazine, encyclopedia or even the handy yellow pages. When people search Google for a local service or product, are they finding you or your competitor?
The power of Google has never been more alluring. “Google” has now become a verb: “I dunno, I’ll just Google it.”
Step One: Research
What Are Your Customers Searching For?
Since we are working on local search terms your research should be pretty simple. All you need to figure out is “What do my customers search Google for”? This search term will become your keyword.
Essentially it comes to a simple pattern; just combine your location with your product or service. If you have a computer store in New York, then a pretty good start would be “New York Computers”. If you live in a popular town name you might want to include your town name as well. Once you have combined your location with your product/service you can use the Google Keyword Tool to get an idea of how many people search for your term.
If you live in a smaller town you might not get many or any results in the keyword tool but that is OK. Google’s tool doesn’t track terms that get less than 250 searches per month. It doesn’t matter if not a ton of people are searching for your term though because everyone who does search for it is super targeted and on the verge of buying.
Once you have your “keyword” (your location + your product/service in most cases) then you are ready to optimize your website for local based searches
Step Two: Title Tag
The First Thing Google Sees
Google is constantly searching the Internet for content. They use complex algorithms that change often and only “they” understand. One thing we do know is that Google doesn’t see your site like you do. It sees a text version without all of the bells and whistles. The very first thing it sees is your Title Tag, which makes sense since it is as the very top of your website: The title tag is found at the top of your web browser. If you are using WordPress, it is easy to change your title tag. Just change your “Blog Title” to your keyword term. You can change this in the back office of WordPress in Settings –> General.
If you are using a traditional HTML website then you will have to manipulate some code. If you have a web designer they can probably do this for you in a couple of minutes. Either way you will have to edit the title tag in your header. Somewhere in between the <head> and </head> tags will be <title></title> tags, just put your keyword between those tags and you are all set.
Step Three: Gotta Get Dynamic
Fresh Content is KING
A “dynamic” website consists of some sort of regularly updated content. This is usually done by adding a blog to your website, or moving your site to a dynamic platform like WordPress. Google values dynamic website more highly than static (rarely changing) websites. A website with fresh content is naturally more relevant and up to date, so Google awards higher rankings for them. This is why even the biggest names in the business world are adding company blogs to their websites.
Step Four: Backlinks
Backlinks: The Holy Grail of Google
What Are Backlinks?
Backlinks are the number one most important factor when you want your website to get to the top of Google searches. In the simplest terms, backlinks are links on the internet that point back to your site. The most effective backlinks have your chosen keyword as the anchor text. Anchor text is the actual text that people click to visit your site. When Google finds a link to your site that includes the keyword you want to rank for then it will boost that sites relevancy.
How Do You Create Backlinks? Many of the places you get links from will have a field for your web address as well as a field that is something like “Link Text” or “Link Title”. Whatever you put into those latter fields will become your “anchor text”.
Where Do You Get Backlinks?
- Your Own Sites: This is a nice easy step. If you are trying to get one of your sites to rank for a keyword and need backlinks, the best place to start is with any other sites you might own.
- Web Directories: The internet is full of hundreds (probably thousands) of online web directories where you can post your link. You can find a lot more by searching terms like “free web directory”
- Blog Commenting: You can gain backlinks by leaving relevant comments on other people’s blogs that actually mean something. You need to actually read the blog posts you are commenting on and then drop a thoughtful response.
- Social Media: There is a whole world out there based on social interaction over the web that is primed for backlinks. It has become the most popular backlinking method. Online profiles are a great place to get backlinks. Almost any site that has some sort of “community” offers a profile section that you can use to add a link. This is not limited to a certain type of sites, basically any site you can create a profile on.
- Article Writing: Article writing can also give you decent backlinks. Just write an article on your topic and submit it to an article submission site. Most sites allow a link (or two) in the body of the article, but even if they don’t, they ALL offer a profile that you can get a link on AND an author resource box that will be posted along with your article. This resource box can be a perfect opportunity to sell yourself or website…plus of course the ever valuable backlink.
Using these four steps you will be able to tap into very targeted traffic that are usually people looking to buy now! Who wouldn’t want that? Good luck, and we hope to see you at the top of Google soon!
How To Corner The Local Search Engine Market